Okay... I was going to just not come back to this site, but, I can't let this go. It's gnawing at me.

(And I want to ask another question.)

A couple weeks back, I asked Can non-EU residents request passport stamps when traveling between EU countries? I mentioned in the body of the post that my post was not the same as Getting passport stamps inside Schengen Area, because the second one is about EU residents specifically, and they have a complete different set of rules applying to them under the terms of Schengen.

It seemed it did not matter. Immediately I was told to just look at that second question. I don't remember exact words and comments are removed now but they had to do with the answers still applying, even though most of the answers are Schengen member state citizen specific. I realize that the topic is similar-looking (related to passports and the Schengen) but that is not the same as a duplicate. Just because two questions have the same answer, also does not necessarily make them a duplicate.

The math problems "2 + 2" and "2 ^ 2" are similar looking and they have the same answer but they are not duplicates. They mean different things.

And then the ultimate Kafka twist, someone edited my post claiming "to make the question more clear," and I assume it was with good intentions, but actually it made the question more like the duplicate. So now, yes, the close votes are more justified, but the question is less valuable. It is like going from "2 ^ 2" to "2 * 2"! The goal should be to add a new valuable question and answer to the Internet, not to make the existing close votes "correct."

I should tell you I decided not to go to San Marino this year so I do not even care about the specific question any more. But I do care if the meta community agrees with the way the whole duplicate procedure was handled here.

  • 4
    Why does this keep on happening? Seriously, I just don't understand it. It's been raised on meta so many times now. Why do people keep doing the same darn thing? Do we need to ask the SE staff to investigate and possibly remove repeat offenders' close privileges before anything will actually change here? Other sites don't have this problem this often. Jul 7, 2016 at 10:17
  • No need to threaten to leave the site in order to have your question reopened. The right way to go about this is to explain your reasonings in question comments, edit the post if needed, then vote to reopen. If you want to discuss the closure in details, then post on meta. Understand that the voters have no beef against you in particular, moreover, it takes 5 votes to close and that many to reopen. Sometimes, if the question is indeed not a duplicate/on-topic, waiting is all it takes.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Jul 11, 2016 at 10:36
  • 2
    @JoErNanO Wasn't meant as a threat, sorry if it seemed like I was trying to threaten. Not like me leaving would be a big loss for your point of view anyways. I knew it wasn't personal at the time. Still frustrating in the moment though.
    – Europe2015
    Jul 17, 2016 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


I am with you here. I feel a strong urge to hit rollback and revert the post to its former state. I also strongly disagree with the question being closed as a duplicate. Here’s my reasoning:

  • The original title asks for travels between EU countries, not Schengen countries. This would, for example, include travelling from France to Ireland. There are border controls there. Potentially, passports can get stamped there. The question is valid.

  • Duplicates should not only be questions that give the same answers, but they should also ask the same question. The wording is not important, the intent is. However, the duplicate explicitly asks for EU citizens requesting passport stamps and only between Schengen countries. Your linked question is about Non-EU citizens (a totally different set of directives may well apply) and not restricted to Schengen countries.

  • A good answer would highlight the difference between Schengen travel and extra-Schengen travel, and under which circumstances passport stamps may or must be given to Non-EU nationals. Something not even close to the other question’s answers.


I love that xkcd! Exactly what I am doing right now ;) So yes, I agree with you (and the answer of @Jan). Others (and me) have raised that point already frequently on here. See A friendly reminder that duplicates should be the same QUESTION, not different questions with similar answers and my answer there. I have also made a point today on chat against editing questions to be able to close them as dupes (about this question, see also my comments there).

So enough whining, what can be done?

  • Do a rollback of the edit if it is against your question intention. You should be able to do that.
  • Make a point on here to gather support for reopening. I just voted to re-open.
  • Leave a comment under the question linking to this post and repeating your point why the Q is different. Also edit the question to point out the difference! (You already did that from the beginning and I hate when that kind of well-researched questions get closed too easily).
  • Go to chat and ask people to look at this, to vote to reopen and to upvote your last comment so that it is visible to those voting to reopen.
  • Be nice. Users who close-vote are doing this site a favor by keeping it clean and navigatable. It is a menial work and checking everything on the umpteenth question of the day is required in theory but impossible in practice.

Ironically I am one of the people who voted to close your question as a dupe. Apologies for that and thanks for coming back. I will go and be ashamed now.

  • 7
    +1 for everything except "checking everything on the umpteenth question of the day is required in theory but impossible in practice". We only get 24 questions a day on average. For context, StackOverflow gets 7,700 per day, Mathematics.SE gets 431 and English.SE gets 49. The close review queue usually has 6 questions or less (English currently has 121!). We're not swamped. We can and should read a question before voting to close and notice when it already explains the difference with a similar question. Jul 7, 2016 at 10:27
  • and I can only +1 that comment! @user568458
    – mts
    Jul 7, 2016 at 10:28
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    In my experience, leaving a comment explaining why you don't think something is a dupe is really helpful. When I'm in the review queue and see such a comment, it makes it much easier to simply say "yep, I agree with that" and vote to leave open (or reopen). Jul 9, 2016 at 0:51
  • 2
    People shouldn't need to repeat it in comments if they've already explained it in the question, though. We shouldn't need things to be written out twice before we read them Jul 18, 2016 at 14:13

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